Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink (Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Published: June 25th 2013
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review*

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I absolutely adored Memoirs of a Geisha by A. Golden and of course I requested for Ink – hello?!? Japan? Drawings? Ancient Gods? Mythology? Uh-uh!! That’s what I’m talking about. I couldn’t resist requesting and ARC. I was expecting a unique story filled with adventures and a blossoming romance and the book had it plenty.

And then the sketched girl on the bench turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

The story. Katie Greene is an orphan who, under the circumstances, had to move in with her aunt Diane.  Only.. She lives in Japan. Katie quickly befriends fellow-students Yuki and Tanaka, but there’s one boy that catches her eye with his cruel, distant behavior and dark eyes. Soon simple drawings seem to have a life of their own and since no one seems to have answers, all there’s left for Katy is to seek the answers by herself.

My thoughts. I bet it’s a heavy burden moving to a country where even the alphabet is different, not to mention having just lost one’s Mom. Under these circumstances, I believe Katie did a great job adjusting to the local culture and the new environment. What bothered me about her character was that she accused one of the characters in having stalker-ish behavior when she basically stalked Tomohiro herself at the beginning of the novel. Also, I like people who don’t put their nose into other’s business and Katie was definitely a little too nosy.

The romance took time to evolve, but in my opinion, we didn’t get enough evolving in the very sense of that word. The few make out scenes were well-written though. I liked the idea of the fantasy-mythology spin in this story – drawings coming to life – but maybe it’s that I’m not a native English speaker so it was hard for me to navigate between descriptive ink scenes and having lots of Japanese words as well. I wasn’t aware that the words were translated in the back of the book (found them when I had finished reading), otherwise it would have been a smoother read for me. I think. There were a few revelations that had me somewhat taken aback since I didn’t see them coming exactly that way which was good.

Overall, I enjoyed this read and I will definitely continue with the series. Some of my favorite series have gotten three stars for the first book and have become absolutely enjoyable further on. I do think the potential in this book is there, it’s just that some of the ideas were hard for me to digest I guess and the romance wasn’t that well-developed. Other than that, I advise you to check it out. Japan as a cultural experience is so awesome and since I can’t afford to travel there in the near future, I appreciate every chance I get to travel there via fiction.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  1. I've read really mixed reviews for this book, so I wasn't really sure about giving it a try, which is a shame as I really liked the sound of the premise and how the story is set in Japan. But like you mentioned I've also come to realise a lot of my ratings for first books in a series are normally three stars too and then the rest of the books usually get even better. I hope this will be the case for you to Siiri. Lovely review!

    1. I've read/heard mixed things as well. I didn't necessarily love this one, but I didn't hate it either so I guess I'm in the middle with this book. I know! Even Vampire Academy didn't get 5 stars from me and I still love this series the most. Heh. I hope I'll love the sequel as well:) Thanks, Jasprit!

  2. I don't think this one would be for me but I am happy to see that you generally enjoyed it overall. It sounds like the romance doesn't take over the plot, which is good. I hate when the romance becomes the main focus of the story and everything else gets left on the back burner!

    1. It's definitely not for everyone and I understand people who say they couldn't get through reading it. I liked it though. The romance was a big part of the plot, but there was lots of other things going on as well:)

  3. Good to know about the glossary in the back! I know I would have struggled with the few Japanese words as well, so knowing I can flip to the back to look them up is a bit of a relief:) I'm like you Siiri, many of my favorite series have started with okay ratings and then have grown to be epic, so I'm excited to see what you think of the next book in the series and if it will turn into one of those favorites!

    1. Yeah LOL :D I read an e-arc so it didn't come to mind to go to the very back and check out if there were any translations. I like.. understood what these things meant, with some exceptions, but I wanted a translation nevertheless. I'm anxious to see what's next to come:)

  4. I tried so hard to get into Ink. I really enjoyed the beginning, when the drawings began to move, but it just didn't work for me. I'm really glad you enjoyed, Siiri. Great review!

  5. Glad you enjoyed, I couldn't really get into this one, but read similar things about romance and setting from those who did

  6. SO happy this was a win overall! I hope there's more romance and an even stronger book 2 to come.

  7. Remember when we were talking about this? Anyway, I've read it back then and loved it! I actually gave it 5 stars. I get you. Sometimes, the first book isn't all that great but then the rest of the series just blows your mind. As for me, I don't care much for my rating. It could be a two but if I want to torture myself (HAHA) or I want to know what happens, I still read it, even if just skim it. Hee.